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Published: Oct 24, 2019

The federal government provided a two year window for implementation of the more significant changes to the Commercial Vehicle Drivers Hours of Service Regulations. One of those amendments is the requirement for commercial drivers to use electronic logging devices, or ELDs, as of June 3, 2021.

 

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While the mandatory use of ELDs in Canada has been expected for a while, there are a few clauses in the amendments that are going to need some thought to operationalize. Consider this article things to ponder.

Where should the ELD be?

There are a bunch of ELDs on the market, although none are certified in Canada yet. Still, we figure they will be about the size of a large smart phone or maybe a tablet. The regulations state that the ELD is to be “mounted in a fixed position during the operation of the commercial vehicle and is visible to the driver when the driver is in the normal driving position.” So, where do you think is the best place to mount an ELD?

How will drivers keep track of duty status between ELDs?

If you only work for one employer, this won’t be a big deal. When you start work each day, the only info you’ll have to remember is the cycle you’re on and any deferral of off-duty time. There’s a list of other info to enter or confirm in your ELD, but all things you can check, like the licence plate number. If you drive for more than one motor carrier though, or switch employers, you’re going to need more information at hand.

“A driver shall manually input or verify the following information in the ELD:

[If] the driver was working for more than one motor carrier during the current day or the previous 14 days

(i) for each day during the 14 days immediately before the current day, the total number of hours for each duty status that were accumulated by the driver, and the beginning and end time of each 16-hour period referred to in subsection 13(3)…”

It’s not that it’s complicated, just that you’ll need some method to keep track.

What’s the backup plan?

If an ELD malfunctions, the driver is to report that to the motor carrier the next time the vehicle is parked. In addition, “The driver shall record the code referred to in paragraph (3)(a) in each record of duty status following the day on which the code was noticed, until the ELD is repaired or replaced.” And, “[a] motor carrier shall require every driver to fill out, and every driver shall fill out a record of duty status each day that accounts for all of the driver’s on-duty time and off-duty time for that day if (a) the driver is driving a commercial vehicle as set out in paragraphs 77(1)(a) to (d); or (b) the ELD is displaying a malfunction or data diagnostic code set out in Table 4 of Schedule 2 of the Technical Standard.”

Who will verify records?

Motor carriers are going to be required to “verify the accuracy of the certified records of duty status that are forwarded by the driver according to the supporting documents provided and shall require from the driver those changes necessary to ensure the accuracy of the records.” Things to think about include: Do your drivers usually end their work days all at the same time? If you review recent logs and supporting documents, how long do you estimate it will take to verify each driver’s records? Will the switch to ELDs save time or resources on other tasks that can be moved to verifying electronic records?

You can read the full text of all of the amendments made this year here. Scroll down to the “Coming into Force” section to see which amendments are current and which ones won’t take effect until 2021.

 

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Ameri-Can Logistics Ltd. is a trucking company servicing shipping ports, railroad depots, and communities throughout North America. Operating 24/7/365 with continuous dispatch services, businesses have relied on Ameri-Can to distribute their products to buyers in Canada, the United States, and Mexico, for three decades.

Prevent overheating: your car and your kids
Safety is always a priority for us at Ameri-Can, and we care about those in our communities as well. While we all enjoy those long, hot summer days, a few precautions are in order when you’re on the road. Preparation is key to keeping problems at bay. Let’s start with the kids.
Be sure to pack a hat and make them wear it. Sunscreen is a must, and a light weight long-sleeve shirt to wear after several hours in the sun, will help prevent UV exposure.
Kids also need to be kept well hydrated. Use a separate bottle for each child so you can monitor who hasn’t been drinking enough. If your kids are really active, alternate a sports drink with water. Watermelon is also a great way to boost fluids.
Keep kids in the shade when possible, or at least get them to take a break from activities to sit in the shade to cool down a bit.
Pack a thermometer and watch for these symptoms (which also apply to adults):
• increased thirst
• muscle cramps
• headache
• dizziness
• irritability
• weakness
• nausea or vomiting
• confusion
• fainting
• cool, clammy skin

If you notice any of these (or are just concerned), take their temperature. If it’s one or two degrees above normal, which is 98.6 F (37 C), it’s time to take a break and cool down. If their temperature is higher than that, but less than 104°F (40°C), you need to take action to bring that down. Get to a cooler spot, remove clothing and put cool cloths on directly on their skin, and give them a sports drink. If they are too weak or sick to drink, if their body temperature doesn’t return to normal within minutes, or if they just don’t seem right, call a medical professional for advice. In BC, you can call a registered nurse at HealthLink BC by dialing 811.

If their temperature is 104°F (40°C) or higher, they’ve stopped sweating and their skin is hot and dry, or if they’ve become unconscious, call an ambulance. Move to a cooler spot, remove clothing and put cool cloths on directly on their skin. Don’t give them anything to drink unless they are fully awake and alert, and basically seem normal other than the high temperature.
Now, let’s talk cars and trucks. The two biggest overheating problems are caused by an existing condition with your vehicle, or overloading it. Have your vehicle serviced before your trip, and before you rent that camper, make sure that your vehicle can handle the weight, remembering that you’ll also have other gear to take with you.
If you are hauling or travelling a mountain route, it’s a good idea to take along a jug of coolant, and know how to check the level and refill it if necessary. Also, make note of where the engine temperature gauge is.
As you’re travelling, keep an eye on that temperature gauge. The outdoor temperature and any weight or climbing stress on your vehicle will combine. If the climbing is steep, shift into a lower gear and keep a steady, even if slower, pace.
If that temperature gauge starts to climb, look for a place to safely pull off the road for a bit. If the gauge is nearing the red zone, turn off the air conditioning and turn on the heat. Pull over as soon as you can. Use a proper pull offs if you see one, but otherwise, the side of the road on a straightaway where other vehicles can see you in advance, will do.
When you’re off the road, pop the hood with the inside lever. You want to open the hood the whole way, but it will likely be very hot, so protect your hands. Now, enjoy the scenery for at least half an hour. An hour would be safer. Open the coolant reservoir – not the radiator cap! Check the fluid level and top it up if needed. If it’s completely dry, or if you notice any leaks, unhooked hoses, or anything else troublesome, you’re probably best to call for a tow truck.
If everything looks ok, start the car and let it run for a few minutes. If the gauge is back in the normal range, carry on, but keep a close eye on it.
Happy trails!

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